Allegory of Sight
The small dogs are terrified, the bird transfixed
as Venus and Cupid ponder
a picture of Jesus making a blind man see.
Some rich collector said “paint my room,”
and Brueghel did: an opulent chaos of paintings and busts,
globes and calipers, red curtain peeled back like an eyelid,
and angled on a pedestal, a telescope. When Galileo
studied stars and rearranged the spheres,
believers stoked their fires and turned away.
But Breughel stared. This is the mind of man,
he said, what seeing sees. All there is
is here: these images, that red, that gorgeous chandelier.
Ruth Hoberman retired a few years go after thirty years as a Professor of English at Eastern Illinois University. She lives and writes in Chicago. Her essays and poems have appeared in such journals as [PANK], Natural Bridge, Spoon River Poetry Review, Iron Horse Literary Review, The Adirondack Review, and The Examined Life. She has an essay forthcoming in Consequence Magazine.
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